Faces of the News
Archbishop Ramon Arguelles
The Catholic clergy have become targets again of President Duterte’s vitriolic attacks. Archbishop Ramon Arguelles is among the few who won’t take it sitting down. Responding to Mr. Duterte’s challenge for bishops to quit their posts for alleged excesses, he said their resignation is the Pope’s call. “They are appointed by the Holy See. Resignation of bishops must be submitted to and accepted by the Holy See.” Arguelles said that while “churchmen are not perfect, nevertheless they are supposed to proclaim what is right and proper even if they themselves fall short of what they teach.” The President attacked Church officials this week, accusing them of having no moral ascendancy to criticize his war against illegal drugs.
Desperate to find her husband, Choi Kyung-jin almost backed out of her first media interview with the Inquirer on Jan. 6. Her condition was that the suspect, while already charged at the Department of Justice, must not be named. All she wanted was to get her husband back, she said, nothing more. On Thursday, Choi, despite her emotions, bravely sat through a roughly five-hour Senate hearing on her husband’s death, right across the man she never wanted named: SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel. Mostly, she bowed her head. But there were moments she stared at him, as if lost in thought, her face blank and unreadable. This is a woman who, in searching for her husband, had said she had “lost the pillar that made our family whole.”
Dayanara Torres and Sushmita Sen
Two “honorary Pinays” came “home” to the Philippines this week for the staging of the 65th Miss Universe pageant, that will culminate on Jan. 30 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. Puerto Rican beauty queen Dayanara Torres stole the hearts of Filipinos when she first set foot in Manila as the then reigning Miss Universe in 1993. She established a colorful career in the local show biz industry and was romantically linked to actor Aga Muhlach. Torres married singer Marc Anthony in 2000 but the couple parted ways four years later. They have two sons. Anthony married Jennifer Lopez just days after finalizing his divorce from Torres. It was Torres who crowned Sushmita Sen of India when the Miss Universe pageant was held in Manila in 1994. Sen, the first Indian woman to win the crown, captivated Filipinos and the world, with her come-from-behind victory in the global tilt, trouncing early favorites Minorka Mercado of Venezuela and Carolina Gomez of Colombia. Torres and Sen will both sit in the judging panel for the pageant’s finals tomorrow. While Torres has been part of the jurors in two previous Miss Universe editions, this is Sen’s first appearance in the panel, as she has previously held the pageant’s national franchise for India, and was thus not qualified to become part of the selection committee. Torres was one of the judges in the preliminary swimsuit and evening gown competitions on Thursday night, where she received a warm and hearty welcome from the predominantly Filipino crowd.
Like the scent of Baguio City’s pine trees, the cab drivers here are a breath of fresh air. They give you the exact change. It’s no surprise then that taxi driver Reggie Cabututan returned the belongings left behind by an Australian businessman in his cab on Jan. 17. These were all worth P1 million. “All I did was to go back and return his belongings,” he said. For his honesty, he was honored and offered a job in Australia. Cabututan, 30, lives in Rosario, La Union province, with his family, and travels to Baguio to work. Just what we needed less than a year after candidate Rodrigo Duterte made unsavory remarks on an Australian missionary who was gang-raped and murdered in Davao in 1989.
Roger Federer, the Swiss Maestro with 17 Grand Slams and who once held tennis’ No. 1 ranking for a record 302 weeks, is back at a major final. He will take on Spaniard Rafael Nadal on Sunday at the Australian Open. The 35-year-old, whose ranking has dipped to 17 after a knee problem sidelined him for six months, last won in Wimbledon in 2012 and last made a major final in the 2015 US Open, losing to Novak Djokovic. He has won in Melbourne Park four times—2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010—but lost to Nadal in 2009. His 19-year playing career largely injury-free, Federer said his short break from tennis made him realize that in order to be competitive again, he must focus only on getting healthy.
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